Lawmakers Advance Bill to Expand Sunday Store Openings, Hours of Operation

WASHINGTON, DC – The Pennsylvania House Liquor Control Committee took a step in the right direction yesterday by advancing a bill to modernize the Commonwealth’s Sunday alcohol sales restrictions – a move the Distilled Spirits Council hailed as a consumer-friendly approach to generating revenue through increased customer convenience rather than taxes.

House Bill 260, sponsored by Rep. John Taylor, expands the number of state stores that can open on Sundays, and increases the Sunday hours of operation to include retail sales between Noon and 9:00 pm.  The bill frees the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) to open at its discretion as many stores as it deems necessary for Sunday sales.  Currently, the PLCB is restricted to opening only 25 percent of its stores. The bill passed the House Liquor Control Committee yesterday 21-3 and was referred to the House Rules Committee for consideration.

“Finding ways to generate revenue through improved business operations is always better for the state and its citizens than increasing taxes,” said DISCUS Vice President David Wojnar, whose organization has supported Sunday sales in states across the country.  “We applaud members of the committee, and particularly the leadership of the PLCB, for taking a pro-consumer approach to increasing their bottom line.  More stores open on Sunday, the second busiest shopping day of the week, will certainly translate into significant revenue for the PLCB and state coffers.”

Wojnar cited recent reports by PLCB officials that these modernizations can increase Sunday sales by 10-25 percent and that Sunday sales figures from December 2010 through February showed an average $1.7 million in combined revenue each Sunday.